It is time to celebrate the end of a rough road: our son has finished high school. He graduated from an international school in Tokyo and it is fair to say that this school for missionary children was a life-saver for our family. Japanese school did not work for him for a variety of reasons, and neither did home schooling (for different reasons), though we did try both. When he was eight, it became necessary to try a third option: Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ).
The school was supportive of his needs and was willing to work with us to help him, though he tried everyone’s patience for a number of years. Now he is about to head off to university in our home country. We are grateful that he had the opportunity to attend CAJ.
Missionaries have children, and those children need an education. There is no “one-size fits all” education. Each child and family is different, so options need to be available.
For example, Lydia* is an early teen. Her parents are only in Japan for a short time. Attending Japanese school is not really an option for her—she does not speak much Japanese and cannot read or write it. An English-speaking school suits her needs, and thankfully, her parents are able to rent a house on a convenient train line in Tokyo.
Mayu’s parents are Japanese believers who have spent a number of years overseas. She went to English-speaking schools when she was overseas, and would find it hard to go to Japanese school now that she is so much more international in outlook. In addition, her academic skills are more suited to working in English. She is able to go to CAJ and continue her international education, even though she is Japanese.
The Christian Academy in Japan provides an option for children like these. It was established in 1950 for the purpose of educating the children of missionaries. Other children, like Mayu, also attend CAJ, but the education of missionary children remains an important part of the school’s DNA.
For those families who do not live a commutable distance from CAJ, the school offers educational support through our SSS branch. CAJ does not offer formal boarding for students who live far away, but a small number of families send their children to live with local families.
All of these children, and many others like them, benefit from having CAJ available to them. CAJ allows many missionaries to remain in Japan, able to share the gospel in this needy land.
*All names have been changed for privacy.
By David (who also teaches at CAJ)
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray for staff for CAJ.
- Pray for wisdom for the leadership at CAJ, as they cater to students from a variety of backgrounds.
- Pray for families making educational decisions, these decisions can impact on the parent’s work in Japan.